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Jo-Jo Wright photos create shock within 24 hours

Uniondale High School star sophomore Jo-Jo Wright was

Uniondale High School star sophomore Jo-Jo Wright was killed in an automobile accident on Jan. 27. Credit: James Escher

On Jan. 27, the high school sports section featured a picture of a young man with the coolest hair I had seen in a long time, shooting a basketball ["It will be game on for Nassau"]. The next day, I saw a picture of the same young man with a basketball but read that he had been killed in an auto accident the prior day ["HS hoops star killed in crash," Sports, Jan. 28]. Tragedies happen all the time, and I did not know Jo-Jo Wright except to read that the Uniondale High School sophomore was a top Long Island player, but for some reason this one affected me deeply. My sympathies to his family.

James Smith,

East Northport

Pharma companies need to pull back

I agree with reader Alan Frank’s concern about TV drug commercials ["Television has too many drug commercials," Just Sayin’, Jan. 16]. In my view, they are intended to promote sales by the companies. Little do the marketing individuals realize that no patient can dictate a doctor prescribe an advertised medication nor will physicians do that based on the minuscule information in commercials. To me, the big gainers are the broadcasters who boost their salaries based on the number of minutes of aired advertisement. The losers are we, the consumers. We not only pick up the tab for the pharmaceutical commercials, but we also pay heavily for unwanted amounts of medications in the package. Pharmaceutical companies also pack much bigger containers than needed for the quantity of medications, wasting a tremendous amount of packing material and especially plastic. In the rest of the world, the quantity, the packages and containers are all small — hardly any waste. Several online petitions seek to curb these TV advertisements. I plan to sign them all and hope fellow Newsday readers will, too.

Dr. Sharada Jayagopal,

East Williston

Another reason to reject Schilling

Despite being a lifelong Red Sox fan, I was delighted by baseball’s Hall of Fame voters rejecting pitcher Curt Schilling. His record may have barely warranted him admission, but I believe his defective character sealed his rejection. Columnist David Lennon opined that Schilling may have been rejected because of his "radioactive political views" ["Remember when voting was so simple," Sports, Jan. 27]. I wouldn’t characterize praising violent insurrectionists as merely political. Moreover, Lennon did not mention Schilling’s settlement with Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation. This Trump-loving, small-government hypocrite, along with others, settled with the state agreeing to return millions of dollars following the bankruptcy of his video game business. I know that state economic development incentives can accomplish good things. I know also that those who abuse them instead belong in a Hall of Shame.

Jim Morgo,


Localities are in need of federal help

The New York State budget faces a $15 billion shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular concern is the proposed reduction of Aid and Incentives for Municipalities payments to towns and villages and the possible reduction of up to 20% of AIM payments to cities ["Setting an optimistic tone," News, Jan. 11]. Long Island municipalities rely on this funding to pay for vital services for our communities, whether there is a pandemic raging or not. Every municipality in every state across America is hurting financially because of COVID-19. It is crucial that the federal government provide us with a relief package that will help sustain our economy. I implore Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), vice chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, and others in the Long Island delegation to stand up for all of us in fighting for state and local aid. I trust that they will exercise their influence in Washington with our country’s new leadership and work to secure the monies Long Island needs to recover from the economic hardship we are struggling to overcome. We have no other choice.

Jerry Laricchiuta,


Editor’s note: The writer is Long Island region president of the Civil Service Employees Association.

Socialism is disastrous for America

I believe the reader who wrote "Socialism comes in many helpful forms" has been misinformed [Letters, Jan. 22]. To me, his beliefs are an indictment of America’s educational system. Socialism, by definition, is the government’s control of the means of production. His examples have nothing to do with that and heaven help us if we reach that point. The programs he cites are paid for by their recipients. We buy into Social Security and Medicare. Veterans earn their benefits with their time, blood, sweat and tears. Where government is involved in production, you’ll find disaster. Amtrak, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Off-Track Betting are government-run agencies that are examples of inefficiency, mismanagement and failure.

Roy Sperrazza,